Abnormal Desire: Malaysia’s new anti-LGBT musical causes furor

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“Abnormal Desire” is premiering in Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, at the National Palace of Culture on March 1 and will be touring the rest of Malaysia’s 12 provinces throughout the year.

The anti-LGBT performances are reportedly being funded by the Malaysian government or Islamic organizations, making all shows free.

The musical has sparked the anger among Malaysia’s LGBT community, who cited the musical as another example of intolerance and discrimination.

LGBT rights activist Norhan told 429Magazine, “This is just another part of the propaganda that is hitting this country … they are again creating something that is hateful and will lead to anger and possible violence.”

Last year, the Malaysian government called the LGBT community “of the devil” and in the predominately conservative ruling government, liberal ideals that often coincide with LGBT causes have been cited as being “teachings of the Devil.”

The director of the musical, Rahman Adam, was commissioned by the government to confront the “worsening social issue” of LGBT people in Malaysia.

“I was compelled to do something as an art professional to oppose LGBT issue that has affected our society, including school children,” said Rahman.

“We want to awaken the youths and parents to this issue.”

This is the newest piece of “educational theater” aimed to mitigate what governmental and Islamic organizations perceive as the “spread” of LGBT people in Malaysia.

The largest political party in Malaysia, Umno, has said “we must take action against these people [homosexuals]. Our actions must be strict and we must not budge. The LGBT community is haram [forbidden]in Islam.”

Umno has been the only ruling political party in Malaysia since independence from Britain in 1957.

LGBT groups argue Umno’s frequent attacks have always been motivated by a desire to win votes. The ruling party still retains the colonial era penal code criminalizing sodomy.

Social attitudes in Malaysia are largely shaped by Islamic ideals, however as Malaysia continues to develop economically, support for LGBT rights is increasing.

429Magazine

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